The Environment Agency have just completed their national Natural Flood Management (NFM) Programme earlier this year

Since 2017 they have invested £15 million of funding from government to benefit people and learn more about NFM through 60 pilot projects across England.

The Natural Flood Management Report they have published captures the wide range of benefits nature-based solutions can play – including planting trees, creating leaky barriers, restoring peatland and salt marshes – in enhancing flood resilience.

Across the 60 pilot projects, the programme created an equivalent of 1.6 million cubic metres of water storage. This has come from the cumulative impact of many small interventions mostly in the catchments and streams upstream of areas at risk of flooding. In addition to increasing flood resilience to 15,000 homes, the programme also contributed to nature recovery: improving 4,000 hectares of habitat, improving 610 kilometres of river and planting 100 hectares of woodland. The programme has demonstrated how healthy natural environments are good for wildlife and good for storing and slowing flood waters to contribute to flood resilience.

James Bevan, CEO at The Environment Agency has written a blog about nature-based solutions and the learning from the NFM programme. He has said:

“Natural flood management has a crucial role to play as we help the country adapt to climate change, and this programme demonstrates the huge benefits it can offer to reducing the impacts of flooding as well as capturing carbon and creating habitats for wildlife.

“Into the future, we’re going to be doing even more to use the power of nature alongside conventional defences to help create a nation more resilient to climate change.”

Slow The Flow are delighted by this positive approach to NFM and look forward to more money being spent to to explore and develop further schemes.

More information is available on the links below.